Facebook has restrictions on what is and is not permissible when running a contest. This document will attempt to clarify these requirements and restrictions and, if possible, suggest alternatives. Visit the official Facebook Promotion Guidelines and Facebook Developer Policy to read these guidelines in their entirety.
Every contest run on a Timeline or on a campaign must be operated lawfully, and must include:
- The official rules
- Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions)
- Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals)
Promotions on Facebook must also include:
- A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
- Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
Since legal terms and conditions, rules, and releases can be lengthy, we recommend placing them in a pop-up that can be triggered by an Action Widget, or in a container that can be easily shown/hidden.
The following practices and types of contests are prohibited:
Requiring Users to Share to Enter
Share to enter or win contests are prohibited. Article III, section E, clause 3 of the Facebook Promotion Guidelines states: “Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions (ex: "share on your Timeline to enter" or "share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries" is not permitted).” You can read more on this policy under the heading Promotions in the Facebook Pages Terms.
Instead, create a Form, enable Refer-a-Friend in the Form Designer, and display the form on a campaign using the Form Widget. After a visitor submits his or her entry, encourage them to refer their friends to the contest. For each of their friends who follow the referral link and enter, they receive extra chances to win.
Requiring Users to "Like" Pages to Enter
You cannot require users to "Like" Facebook Pages to enter a contest - a.k.a "incentivizing" a Like. Article IV, section 5 of the Facebook Developer Policy states: "Only incentivize a person to log into your app, enter a promotion on your app’s Page, or check-in at a place. Don’t incentivize other actions."
You cannot publish a campaign whose sole purpose is to redirect visitors to another site. Article IV, section 8 of the Facebook Developer Policy reads: "Don’t build an app whose primary purpose is to redirect people off of Facebook."